By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
After a year’s worth of investigation by the Special White Collar Crimes Unit of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn, has been arrested and charged with 23 felony indictments.
Hubbard was allowed to turn himself in at the Lee County Courthouse around 4 p.m. Monday evening, Oct. 20.
Hubbard has been charged with using his office for personal gain, receiving cash and contracts from lobbyists and business associates, and receiving assistance with his business interests from high-profile individuals and companies, including former Gov. Bob Riley.
In what might be considered the ultimate irony, many of Hubbard’s indictments stem from the 2010 enactments of the Republican-sponsored Ethics Law. Under Section 36-25-5(a) “No public official or public employee shall use or cause to be used his or her official position or office to obtain personal gain for himself or herself, or family member of the public employee or family member of the public official, or any business with which the person is associated unless the use and gain are otherwise specifically authorized by law…”
If convicted on each of the 23 counts, Hubbard could face a minimum of 46 years in prison.
Many of Hubbard’s top associates and some of the State’s leading business figures are named as participating in Hubbard’s actions. They include: former Gov. Bob Riley, his daughter, Minda Riley Campbell, BCA Chairman Billy Canary, Tim Howe, Will Brooke, Dax Swatek, Jimmy Rane, Jim Barton, Robert Abrams, James Holbrook as well as American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc. (APCI), the Southeast Alabama Gas District, (SEAGD) and Edgenuity, Inc. and/or E2020.
Each of these individuals and companies may very well be charged with the same crimes as Hubbard.
It is believed that Hubbard’s indictments are just the beginning of the charges that will be brought against other lawmakers and individuals.
The first three counts are related to Hubbard’s time as Chairman of the Republican Party, where he is accused of funneling money from the party to Florida-based Majority Strategies, and back to his business interest, Craftmaster Printers, Inc.
In Count 4, Hubbard is accused of using his office for personal gain by funneling money through Tim Howe d/b/a The Howe Group, LLC and/or SRM Media and back to his business interest, Auburn Network.
According to State law, the Chairman of the Republican Party is legally held to the same standards as any elected official.
In Counts 5 and 6, Hubbard is charged with using his office and voting to secure an “exclusive” contract for American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc. (APCI), which would have given the company the right to be the sole provider for pharmacy benefits management under the State’s Medicaid program.
Under Counts 8 and 9, Hubbard is charged for his lobbying efforts for the Southeast Alabama Gas District, (SEAGD).
In Count 10, Hubbard is accused of receiving a thing(s) of value from Edgenuity, inc. and/or E2020 to Auburn Network.
Charges under Counts 11, 12, 13 and 14, stem from Hubbard’s relationship with Robert Abrams d/b/a CV Holdings. In 2013, CV Holdings received a $78 million, investment from the Retirements Systems of Alabama, (RSA), to build a manufacturing facility for Si02, in Auburn. In Count 12, Hubbard represented Robert Abrams before the Alabama Department of Commerce. In Count 13 Hubbard represented Robert Abrams before the Governor.
Counts 15 through 19 allege that Hubbard received illegal investments for his business interest, Craftmaster Printers, Inc.
These Counts charge that Hubbard received investments from Will Brooke, Dax Swatek, Jimmy Rane, Jim Barton, James Holbrook, contrary to the ethics law. Brooke is a Birmingham-based investment banker, Swatek is a lobbyist and a longtime ally of Hubbard’s. Barton is the Chairman of Hoar Construction in Birmingham. Rane, also known as the “Yella Fella,” is President and Chairman of Great American Woods, and Holbrook is the former head of the investment house, Sterns Agee. Holbrook is currently under Federal investigation in a separate matter.
In Count 20, Hubbard is accused of receiving help from former Gov. Bob Riley to obtain new clients for his business interest, Auburn Network.
In Count 21, Hubbard is charged with receiving “consulting assistance and support” from Riley’s daughter, Minda Riley Campbell, for his Auburn Network.
Count 22 accuses Hubbard of receiving “assistance with obtaining new clients for Auburn Network,” from Billy Canary, the head of the Business Council of Alabama, (BCA).
In the final Count, Hubbard is charged with receiving assistance with obtaining new clients for Auburn Network and/or financial advice regarding Craftmaster Printers, from Will Brooke, Board Member of the Business Council of Alabama.